When Julia realized her husband had cheated, she started dating Robert, who was abusive. Her daughter, Diana, ran away from one of his moods and hid in the dog house. But the next day, her father returned, and the truth was revealed.
David grew up in Seattle, Washington, and settled there when he married Julia. Soon after their wedding, they had a daughter, Diana. She was the light of his life, but unfortunately, he didn’t see her that often because of his work.
He was a management consultant, which involved long business trips each month. Sometimes, David barely got to spend three days a month with his family before he needed to fly off to a new place. It was a challenging career, but it was also lucrative.
Luckily, Julia trusted him enough that it wasn’t a problem. She was a stay-at-home mom and devoted all her attention to raising Diana, hoping she wouldn’t feel her father’s absence for long. But Julia got lonely every once in a while.
That’s where her best friend, Victoria, came in. She had a sixth sense and could tell when Julia needed an outing. “I know you feel lonely, but David’s job is so lucrative. You get to buy anything you want. I’m so jealous!” Victoria gushed when they went shopping.
David returned home that evening, and he stayed there for two weeks before the company sent him somewhere. Julia was so happy and told Victoria all about it, mainly because David had bought her a brand new Louis Vuitton bag.
“That’s fantastic! Let’s meet up for coffee, and you can show me that purse!” Victoria said enthusiastically. Julia arrived at her favorite coffee spot a few hours later and saw her friend waiting at their usual table.
But she was not cheerful or smiling. “Hey, Vickie. What’s going on? You look weird. You sounded so happy on the phone. What happened?” Julia asked, concerned for her friend.
“Oh, Julia. An hour after we talked, my brother Justin called me. You know he and David have been friends for a long time, right?” Victoria began. “Well, he showed me some emails, and they’re about…David…and another woman.”
“What?” Julia whispered, shocked.
“I debated whether to tell you or not. But here.” Victoria showed her the screenshots on her phone. “David talks about meeting another woman in Washington D.C. Does he travel there often?”
“Oh, he’s been going there lately,” Julia replied softly. She couldn’t believe it. But the proof was right there. David told Justin that he was planning to divorce Julia and get serious with the other woman. She said goodbye to Victoria and rushed home to call David.
For a while, wasn’t answering, but Julia kept dialing. Suddenly, a woman answered the phone. Julia hung up immediately. It’s true. He’s cheating on me! she cried to herself and blocked his number. She didn’t want anything to do with him anymore.
She sent David a short email explaining that she wanted a divorce and not to contact her directly again, prompting David to rush home from his trip earlier than expected. Julia refused to see him. He insisted on explaining everything to no avail. After weeks of being shut out, David gave up and picked up his things from their home.
A month later, Julia reconnected with her high school crush, Robert. He was the most popular boy at school, and Julia loved that he was suddenly interested in her. Their relationship advanced quickly and after just a month of dating, Robert moved in with his dog, Scooter.
Diana didn’t know what to think, but she loved that dog. Unfortunately, Scooter died suddenly a few weeks later, and the little girl was devastated. She begged for her dad, but Julia didn’t know how to tell her that David was busy.
“It’s going to be alright, Diana. Robert will get you a new dog soon, and he’s here all the time, unlike your dad,” Julia assured her daughter, not knowing that she was doing a disservice to her by dissing her father.
Meanwhile, Julia was also unaware that Robert was insanely abusive, especially when he drank, and was a skilled manipulator. So when he blamed her for his outbursts, she believed him. “You made me do this! Don’t you understand? I’m a passionate man!” he would often say.
“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again,” she acquiesced most of the time to stop things from escalating. But one particular fight between them went wrong because Diana witnessed it. Robert was incensed when Julia didn’t have time to cook him dinner because her daughter was sick.
“I DESERVE TO COME HOME TO A HOT MEAL! YOU’RE AN IDIOT! YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT! IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO COOK!” the man screamed at Julia, who took cover in the corner of their bedroom with her arms raised protectively.
“STOP! Don’t hurt my mom! It’s my fault! I was cold! It’s my fault!” Diana rushed to protect her mother right when Robert’s arm swung, hitting the little girl forcefully on the cheek.
Diana started crying and ran off. “Diana! Diana! Come here!” Julia called for her desperately, but Robert began hitting her and screaming.
“WE ARE NOT DONE TALKING! LET THAT BRAT GO OFF!”
Outside their home, Diana didn’t know where to go. Then she remembered the dog house in the backyard. She went in there hoping for some warmth from the cold. She heard her mother calling, but she didn’t want to go back inside, so she stayed silent.
It started to snow, and Julia’s screams were even more desperate. but they were eventually drowned out when Diana fell asleep. The next morning, she was woken by a pair of arms she would recognize anywhere. “DADDY!” she exclaimed in delight.
“I’m here, baby. I’m here,” David comforted his daughter.
“Oh, David. Thank you for finding her. Thank you!” Julia blubbered.
“I’m taking her home with me,” he said and walked towards his car. He placed the little girl in the car seat and turned towards Julia, who had followed him. “Diana is cold as ice and has a mark on her cheek. What happened last night?”
“Please, David. I didn’t know where she was. I called you because I was desperate not to be reproached. You don’t know what it’s like being a single mom. She was sick yesterday, and then….” Julia trailed off.
“But you’re not a single mom. You live with your boyfriend. Now what happened to her cheek?” David repeated coldly.
“Robert and I were fighting. She got in the way….” Julia sobbed. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know she heard us. I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I let him near my daughter. I’m so sorry.”
“You get that man out of this house immediately! Otherwise, I will take you court, Diana! You should be calling the police right now!” David yelled at her, but Julia recoiled so severely that David took a step back.
He realized that his former wife was also being abused by her boyfriend. But it stops today, he thought vehemently.
“I’m so sorry,” she continued through tears.
“Ok, ok,” he tried to calm himself. “Ok, you’re coming with me too. We’re going to the police right now, and then to the hospital.”
They went to the police to file charges against Robert, and they were pretty helpful in filing a restraining order against the man, who they eventually learned had skipped town.
Julia and Diana only had a few bruises that were treated at the hospital, but the doctor recommended therapy for the emotional trauma. And instead of going home that day, they decided to stay with David at his apartment. It took them a few months until they were in a better place and brave enough to return to their home.
One day, David finally asked Julia what had been nagging him for a while. “Can I ask you why you left met for that loser?” he wondered.
“David, please. I know you were planning to divorce me, anyway. I saw the emails,” Julia replied softly. She didn’t want to bring back this sore subject now that they were co-parenting perfectly.
“What emails?” David demanded.
“You sent emails to Justin, Victoria’s brother. You told him you had another woman in Washington D.C. and were leaving me for her,” Julia explained. “But it’s ok, I forgive you, especially after everything.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he voiced seriously. Julia looked at him and frowned. Then David explained that he had never sent such an email. He even called Justin, who confirmed that there were no emails.
“Well, you could’ve told him to cover for you,” Julia suggested.
“Wait a minute. Victoria showed you those emails. When I returned from my trip back then, and you wouldn’t even talk to me, she called me. She asked to meet me at a bar to talk about you. But all she did was flirt with me and waste my time,” David remembered.
“What? Why would she… Oh my God! Victoria did this. She faked those emails!” Julia realized. “But who was that woman who answered your cellphone when I called you during your trip?”
“A woman? Oh, wait a minute, Mrs. Garrison? The company’s 55-year-old secretary who usually comes with me on trips?” David asked. Julia’s jaw went slack at David’s words. She felt stupid for believing Victoria.
Later, she called her “best friend” to get the truth. She learned that Victoria had been jealous of her happiness and how successful David was, so she orchestrated everything.
This prompted Julia to cut her off completely after that. In the meantime, she and David decided to stop their divorce proceedings after realizing they were tricked so maliciously.
Eventually, they worked things out and got together again. Diana was the flower girl at their vow renewal.
What can we learn from this story?
- Don’t trust everything you hear until you know both sides. This all could’ve been avoided if Julia had talked to David, but she believed her friend’s lie easily.
- Protect your children from bad people. Julia should’ve run after the first sign that Robert was abusive, but she stayed, and Diana got hurt.
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